Daily Archives: September 14, 2009

Patrick Swayze has Died

Patrick Swayze in 2005

Patrick Swayze in 2005

AP–Patrick Swayze, the actor who danced his way into viewers’ hearts with “Dirty Dancing” and then broke them with “Ghost,” died Monday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 57.

“Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months,” said a statement released Monday evening by his publicist, Annett Wolf. No other details were given.

Fans of the actor were saddened to learn in March 2008 that Swayze was suffering from a particularly deadly form of cancer.

He had kept working despite the diagnosis, putting together a memoir with his wife and shooting “The Beast,” an A&E drama series for which he had already made the pilot. It drew a respectable 1.3 million viewers when the 13 episodes ran in 2009, but A&E said it had reluctantly decided not to renew it for a second season.

Swayze said he opted not to use painkilling drugs while making “The Beast” because they would have taken the edge off his performance. He acknowledged that time might be running out given the grim nature of the disease.

When he first went public with the illness, some reports gave him only weeks to live, but his doctor said his situation was “considerably more optimistic” than that.

“I’d say five years is pretty wishful thinking,” Swayze told ABC’s Barbara Walters in early 2009. “Two years seems likely if you’re going to believe statistics. I want to last until they find a cure, which means I’d better get a fire under it.”

A three-time Golden Globe nominee, Swayze became a star with his performance as the misunderstood bad-boy Johnny Castle in “Dirty Dancing.” As the son of a choreographer who began his career in musical theater, he seemed a natural to play the role.


RIP Patrick ‘Buddy’ Swayze, you will be missed…

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Filed under Media and Entertainment, Movies, News

The Unauthorized 9.12 Teabagger Tour

Brought to you by Max Blumenthal and Alternet.org

Max Blumenthal covers the 9.12 anti-Obama rally on the National Mall, where teabaggers demonstrated their opposition to healthcare reform by calling Obama the biggest Nazi in the world, claiming he wants to put “real” Americans in concentration camps, and was born in Kenya.

But how many of them have health insurance, and do they know they’re pawns in the game of healthcare industry front man Dick Armey? Of course not.

In his article, 9/12 Protest: Here’s What Fox News Didn’t Broadcast, Max explains what he witnessed in Washington:

My video tour of the 9.12 Project is yet another exhibit of how the Republican Party’s big tent became a one-ring circus that operates according to the rules of P.T. Barnum: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

For the inside story of how the radical right took over the GOP and drove it to the margins, check out Max’s new book, “Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party


Filed under Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans

Some fear GOP is being carried to the extreme…

Posted by Audiegrl

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times/Peter Wallsten—Amid a rebirth of conservative activism that could help Republicans win elections next year, some party insiders now fear that extreme rhetoric and conspiracy theories coming from the angry reaches of the conservative base are undermining the GOP’s broader credibility and casting it as the party of the paranoid.

Such insiders point to theories running rampant on the Internet, such as the idea that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and is thus ineligible to be president, or that he is a communist, or that his allies want to set up Nazi-like detention camps for political opponents. Those theories, the insiders say, have stoked the GOP base and have created a “purist” climate in which a figure such as Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) is lionized for his “You lie!” outburst last week when Obama addressed Congress.

They are “wild accusations and the paranoid delusions coming from the fever swamps,” said David Frum, a conservative author and speechwriter for President George W. Bush who is among the more vocal critics of the party base and of the conservative talk show hosts helping to fan the unrest.

“Like all conservatives, I am concerned about this administration’s accumulation of economic power,” Frum said. “Still, you have to be aware that there’s a line where legitimate concerns begin to collapse into paranoid fantasy.”

Frum and other establishment Republicans have spoken out in recent days against the influence of what they view as their party’s fringe elements.


One of the important and surprising parts of the article is the fact that maybe someone in the Republican party is finally starting to understand that the ‘optics‘ of angry Teabaggers can turn into a net-negative for Republicans.

In one symbolic development, organizers of next year’s Conservative Political Action Conference — the country’s biggest annual meeting of activists on the right — said last week that they had rejected a request to schedule a panel on whether Obama was a native-born U.S. citizen.

“It would fill a room,” said event director Lisa De Pasquale. “But so would a two-headed monkey. There really are so many more important issues, and it’s only a three-day conference.”

CPAC officials said WorldNetDaily’s Farah asked the group to hold the panel.

The CPAC decision came after Washington GOP strategist Jon Henke began a campaign against WorldNetDaily, which has published numerous articles giving credence to the birthplace issue and other allegations against the Obama administration.

WorldNetDaily is also soliciting signatures and e-mail addresses for a petition calling on “any and all controlling legal authorities in this matter” to examine Obama’s birth certificate.

Ok, ok, maybe its just one conference panel, but hey, I’m trying to be an optimist, so at least it’s a start in the right direction.

Let me know what you think!


Filed under Democrats, Media and Entertainment, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans

Positive view of Fox News among Democrats drops significantly


ThinkProgress/Matt Corley—In a new survey of how the public views the news media, the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that “partisan differences in views of Fox News have increased substantially since 2007.” Though the percentage of Republicans who view Fox News positively is virtually the same (73 percent in 2007 and 72 percent in 2009), positive views of Fox News have dropped significantly amongst Democrats from 61 percent in 2007 to 43 percent in 2009. In comparison, the view of CNN by both Republicans and Democrats is “little changed from two years ago.”


Filed under Change, Democrats, Media and Entertainment, Partisan Politics, Republicans

Annie Le’s Death: Police Say Killing Not A Random Act

Associated Press

AP—The Yale graduate student presumed to have been killed in her lab building and stuffed into a wall there was probably not the victim of a random act, police said Monday as they sought to ease fears about student safety.

Police found the body around 5 p.m. Sunday, on what was to have been 24-year-old Annie Le’s wedding day. She was reported missing Tuesday, and her ID, money, credit cards and purse were found in her third-floor office at the high-security Yale medical school building where the body was found.

In this undated photo released by Yale University shows Annie Le. Connecticut State Police are using search dogs as they try to find the Yale graduate student missing since Tuesday Sept. 8, 2009. Twenty-four-year-old Le planned to get married Sunday. (AP Photo/ Courtesy of Yale University)

In this undated photo released by Yale University shows Annie Le. Connecticut State Police are using search dogs as they try to find the Yale graduate student missing since Tuesday Sept. 8, 2009. Twenty-four-year-old Le planned to get married Sunday. (AP Photo/ Courtesy of Yale University)

An autopsy was under way Monday to verify the identity of the body, found in a cable duct. Police would not say Monday whether they have a suspect, but said nobody is in custody.

“We’re not believing it’s a random act,” said Officer Joe Avery, a police spokesman. He would not provide further details but said no one else is in danger.

The building where the body was found is part of the university medical school complex about a mile from Yale’s main campus and is accessible to Yale personnel with identification cards. Some 75 video surveillance cameras monitor all doorways.

“It’s a frightening idea that there’s a murderer walking around on campus,” said 20-year-old Muneeb Sultan, a chemistry student. “I’m shocked that it happened in a Yale building that had key-card access. It’s really sad.”

Police have not provided any details on the condition of the body found or how the woman died.

A friend said Monday the doctoral student never showed signs of worry about her own personal safety at work, although she did express concerns about crime in New Haven in an article she wrote last year.

“If she was concerned about (it) she would have said something to someone and they would have known,” Jennifer Simpson told CBS’ “The Early Show.” “And Jon (her fiance) would have known, her family would have known, friends would have known.”



Filed under Education, News, True Crime

Democrats Behaving Badly

(44diaries welcomes Ogenec to our family of contributors!)
posted by Ogenic

Is the Right, well, right?  If you, dear reader, are a Democrat, then you probably just shouted “hell no!!!”  or words of similar effect.  And yet, there are disturbing portents that Democrats wish to ape Republicans in a number of ways.   First, you hear many Democrats mumble under their breath that they wish Obama were more like Bush when it comes to forcing his agenda through Congress, damn the consequences. The problem, they complain, is that nobody “fears” Obama.  Dear God.  Haven’t we learned the consequences of a government that uses fear as its primary motivational tool???

Second, Democrats are proving to be just as vengeful as Republicans.  Remember how Democrats — correctly — rose up in arms when Republicans refused to be requited by Obama’s apology in the
Gates incident?
  We denounced their antics for what they were — less about actual contrition and forgiveness, and more about keeping an explosive and divisive issue festering.  Well, Democrats are pulling the same trick with Joe Wilson.  I’ll stipulate that the man is a disgrace.   But he apologized and Obama accepted his apology.   Why, then, the push to censure him on the House floor, or exact some other form of retribution?

The reason, of course, is that it is not about punishing him for some breach of decorum.  It is about partisanship: firing up the base, and fundraising.   Which is great.  Except it is a double-edged sword.  Sure, Joe Wilson’s opponent has raked in a million dollars since The Outburst.  But umm, newsflash — so has Joe Wilson.  In this perpetual game of partisanship, neither side wins.  Meanwhile, lost in all of this petty bickering are the people, whose real concerns go unattended to.  As the African proverb so eloquently puts it, “When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.”  (The quick-witted among you should resist the urge to point out that, technically speaking, I’m complaining about a fight between an elephant and a donkey.  The point still holds.)

I didn’t just vote for Obama because I thought he had the right ideas.  I voted for him because he promised to try to bring an end to the increasing bitterness and rancor in today’s politics.  Sure, six months in, Republicans have shown little interest in joining Obama to forge a bipartisan path.  So now what?  If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em?  I would argue that Obama’s task is made harder, not easier, when we resort to these kinds of tactics.  Because if Obama cannot get his team to play nice(r), then there is absolutely no reason for the other side to give an inch.

And the weird thing is, I’m starting to think that many Democrats like it that way.  Enough with this rapprochement, they seem to be saying.  This is a war, and you shoot ’em dead between the eyes.  You don’t make nice with the enemy.  And you make sure they fear you, literally quake with terror when your name is mentioned.  That, they say with a stern visage, is how you win in Washington.

I have two pieces of advice for such folks.   Go read Animal Farm, because you strike me as Democrats of the “Four legs good, two legs better” variety.  Also read this from Michael Kinsley:
“Free Joe Wilson Enough With the Phony Umbrage”

Moral: the way Democrats advance their agenda is just as important as the substance of their agenda, if not more so.


Filed under Change, Democrats, Editorial, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans

Socialism Threat Has Long History for Health-Care Overhaul Foes

posted by GeoT

Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) — The debate is about health care. The threat is of a march toward “socialism.” The words come from a famous voice:

“From here, it’s a short step to all the rest of socialism,”

No, not Sarah Palin in 2009. It was Ronald Reagan in 1961.

Many of the arguments against President Barack Obama’s overhaul effort are refrains from previous debates over health- care policy and Social Security dating to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman.

story continues@:

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Filed under Civil Protest, History, Media and Entertainment, Medicine, Money, News, Uncategorized

One Brave Soul Carries the Public Option Message in D.C. (video)

posted by GeoT

“A brave man walks through the teabagger protest on the National Mall in Washington, DC, with a large sign that reads “Public Option Now”. If not for the cops that escorted him through the crowd, they probably would have eaten him alive.”

courtesy: teabaggertools

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Filed under Civil Protest, Culture, Humor, Media and Entertainment